Wilson told not to play again: What does this mean for the Giants?
Giants running back David Wilson was advised today by Dr. Russell Warren, the team’s physician and former surgeon-in-chief for the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), and Dr. Frank Cammisa, chief of spine service at HSS, that he should no longer play football. Wilson will be placed on injured reserve for the 2014 season.
Wilson, the Giants’ 2012 first-round draft choice out of Virginia Tech, was forced to leave practice last Tuesday after suffering a burner, which caused numbness in his hands and lower extremities, symptoms he displayed when he suffered his original neck injury last October 6 against Philadelphia. Wilson underwent a battery of tests Tuesday night at HSS and was scheduled for an exam and evaluation by Dr. Frank Cammisa for this morning.
“I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me,” said Wilson. “I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too.”
“I’m thankful that I can literally walk away from the game and that I am healthy and capable of doing the same things I have done all my life, except play football,” added Wilson. “I always try to find the positive in everything. This morning when I saw Dr. Cammisa and Dr. Warren, I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear, but I expected that what they told me could be a possibility. I had played out both scenarios in my mind. I prayed this morning before I went to see them that they would tell me what God would tell me. He put His answer in them to relay to me.”
Wilson played in only five games in 2013 before the neck injury. Although he hoped to return to the field, he was inactive for three games before being placed on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 7. He underwent surgery, a fusion of the vertebrae, on January 16 to repair the herniated disc in his neck. The procedure was performed by Dr. Cammisa.
Wilson’s abbreviated 2013 season included 44 rushing attempts for 146 yards and a touchdown (a five-yarder in his final game, vs. Philadelphia on Oct. 6), two catches for eight yards and nine kickoff returns for a 24.7-yard average.
His loss was significant for an offense that struggled to gain yards and score points, as well as the kickoff return unit. As a rookie in 2012, Wilson accounted for 1,925 all-purpose yards, the sixth-highest total in team history, the most ever by a Giants rookie and the most for any Giant since Tiki Barber had 2,127 in 2006. His 1,533 kickoff return yards led the NFL and set a Giants record, breaking the former mark of 1,291 set by Domenik Hixon in 2009. Wilson’s 26.9-yard kickoff return average was sixth in the NFL. He also rushed for 358 yards and four touchdowns and caught four passes for 34 yards and a score.
So where do the Giants go from here at the running back position?
To be honest, they’ll be just in my opinion. Last night proved that the team has talent and depth at that position. Running backs Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams combined for 62 rushing yards during a 12-play, seven-minute drive that was capped by a three-yard touchdown by Williams. Jennings is sure to be the versatile back that Big Blue was missing last year. He’s good catching the ball out of the backfield and great in open space, that’ll fit well in the new system under
offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. Williams will be the goal line back, as he is a bulldozer with the ball in his hands. The Giants will use this tandem just like the old Brandon Jacobs-Ahmad Bradshaw duo that brought great success in New York.
The move of Wilson is a smart one for the team and for Wilson himself. His health is much more important than the game he loved to play. And as far as the Giants’ running game is concerned, they’ll be in good hands.
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